Report: Few U.S. Republican candidates to join CNN/YouTube debate 2007-07-27 23:58:18   Print

    WASHINGTON, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Four days after the Democratic presidential debate hosted by CNN/, only two of the nine Republican presidential candidates have agreed to participate in a similar debate for their party on Sept. 17.

    Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and congressman Ron Paul of Texas are the only two that have agreed to take part in the debate, co-hosted by the Republican Party of Florida, according to a report published by The Washington Post Friday.

    "Aside from those two candidates, we haven't heard from anyone else," said Sam Feist of CNN, which is co-sponsoring the debate with YouTube, the popular video-sharing site.

    CNN and YouTube announced last week that the Republican debate would be held in St Petersburg, Florida, one of the biggest swing states in the country.

    Unlike their fellow Democratic contenders, all of whom took part in Monday's debate, Republican candidates have shown little interest in the forum so far.

    Except McCain and Paul, all the other Republican hopefuls, including the two front-runners -- former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, have not signed up.

    Giuliani is unlikely to participate, the report said.

    A spokesman for Romney said he has seven debate invitations over a span of 11 days in September, and the campaign has not committed to any of them yet.

    Questions for the candidates would come from videos submitted by voters to YouTube, and the two-hour debate will be broadcast live on CNN.

    Over 3,000 questions were submitted to YouTube for the Democratic debate and 39 were selected for the candidates. For the Republican debate, more than 400 questions have been received by the website so far.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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